5 tips to regulate your children’s screen time!
93% of children regularly connect to the Internet. Let’s Coorganiz together because parents may be underestimating the impact.
93% of children regularly connect to the Internet and as parents we may be underestimating both the content and the amount of time they are spending on their screens. At Coorganiz, we organise together, so here are the tips and markers that we collected from other parents to help you organise your children’s access to screens. Because if there is one thing that we can all agree on, it is that the parents are the ones who set the rules and check that they are adhered to! So to save time and to find some peace in your family organisation, here are the steps towards an effective “screens” plan:
Determine: simple rules that the whole family can respect. Elisa, a school teacher: “In our house, there are no screens before homework, at the table or at bedtime! I have to say, it’s probably hardest for my partner. But the key is to make no exceptions. Even in a restaurant when the service is slow, I bring along colouring pencils, card games… “
Explain: why you are limiting access. Morgane, a nurse: “I explain that screen time is an activity that needs to be balanced, just like football, reading or games. We have a 1 for 1 rule: one hour of any non-screen activity before one hour of screen time. I should specify that homework is not part of this deal. And no more than one hour per day: there isn’t time during the week, but it can be tempting to accumulate hours for a rainy weekend.”
Discuss: as children grow older, video games become a particularly attractive pastime and one that can take up a lot of time. Rules are no longer enough; you have to explain why you are limiting this access. To help with your discussion, the best source is a study by the AAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics that measured the consequences of screens on our children’s brains. And here is something to think about: major Internet bosses in San Francisco send their children to the famously screen-free Waldorf School. “It’s because we know first-hand about the dangers of technology” answered Chris Anderson, a Silicon Valley personality, when The New York Times asked him about the subject.
Regulate: Now you understand: screen-free zones and hours of use – now all you have to do is keep an eye on things! To help you, here are a few ideas: Constance chose an old fashioned contract with a check sheet to be filled out by each child that hangs on the fridge. For those seeking a digital solution, we recommend Xooloo or Unglue. The main thing is that the children manage their relationship with their screens. And for those who prefer a more radical solution, there is always the controller and mobile device basket that always stays in the kitchen – according to Serena, it really works.
Use: together. Screens should not be demonised either, and they can be used intelligently. In order to have an enlightened opinion, spend time with your children on screens and on the internet: you will know more about what interests them, and it can also offer subjects of conversation and even activities. “My children adore sketches on the Internet! By watching with them, I got to share in and understand what they find fun. Now we hold improvisations in the car. It’s better than each one sitting there with their earbuds in their ears.”
And freedom does not exclude exercising control: you can activate parental control and checking browser history doesn’t make you an invasive monster (it’s my life and it’s private!) – simply a parent!
There you are, we hope that we have contributed to your thoughts about organisation and above all strengthened your conviction that you are the only person capable of protecting your children from their attraction to screens.
Enjoy keeping an eye on them!!